Our congregational reading today is from Psalm 49 which is a sober warning against those who trust in their wealth more than God. As Christians, we are often perplexed by the wealth of unbelievers while many of us suffer financial hardships that are very troubling. This irony is discussed several times in scripture as we are reminded to avoid the pitfalls of trusting in temporal possessions.
It is innate knowledge that all go to the grave with nothing they have accumulated (you can’t put a house in a coffin!), yet still most are blind to the folly of living for the temporal rather than the eternal. Sadly, many Christians fall into this trap as well as they ignore their spiritual lives to gather fleeting treasures that will be lost. The evidence is found in the way they prioritize church for themselves and their families. Perhaps I am a little old fashioned, but I was raised by godly parents that never made God’s work secondary. Everything they did was calculated for the accomplishment of God’s work.
I remember how in my early years my father had to work a secular job as he pastored a small country church. It would seem the Lord’s work would suffer under such an arrangement; however, for him eighteen to twenty hour days were not uncommon. He was still a full-time pastor. Unlike many pastors today, he never complained of burnout. I don’t think he ever thought such a concept was possible. Such dedication is quite uncommon but it is a demonstration of a heart that truly believes what is done for Christ is the only lasting reward. I believe this kind of commitment is rare in the American church, but it is lived out daily in the lives of many of our missionaries.
This kind of talk is largely lost on the world. Most never give a second thought to eternal matters. Even though the knowledge of a destitute grave is innate, people live as though their death will never come. The psalmist comments on this in verses 6-11. The myopic worldly person sees that both the wise and the foolish die and leave their wealth to others, yet still he believes his own estate is perpetual.
May God deliver us from such foolishness! Set your life in order now and prepare for eternity. It comes much sooner than you think!